Sunday, December 19, 2010


" It is exceedingly difficult simply by the sheer volume of three weeks of 140mi days. It flaunts a 60% attrition rate."..... Self-supported, solo. Huh. That sounds tough.

Still, I guess you would have these guys for company.

And you'd need to learn about the local customs.....

Must read some more.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Phase One:
I started out, like everyone, as a complete hack. I was only ever on a bike because the middle of a triathlon required it. Getting over 30km/hr was an effort.

Bike of the moment: a non-description steel cash converters bike, now I recognise it as a vintage peugeot! Should have kept it. Upgraded to a Giant TCR Aero roadie.

The TCR Aero, a lot faster than a steel crime converters find.

Phase Two:
Reasonable Triathlete by now. Off-season fun to keep us fit took us to old school (pre comm games clean up, trailmix and other things) lysterfield. My god, these days were serious fun. Team FB rools. First night ride in here somewhere. A plenty of dangerous advice like 'if in doubt, go faster' and 'just dont touch the brakes'.

Bike of the moment: 2003 Giant Yukon HT.

Phase Three:
Dropped triathlon, headed north and refocused on AR. The love for MTBs grew. The Gap Cycles gang were a great place to get amongst it and learn, and Darcy gave me a lot of his time and knowledge to start the process from total newb to half-a-clue. Had a crack at riding from Canberra to the top of Kosci and back too.

Bike of the moment: Trek Fuel ex9.

First Kooralbyn ride, loving it as part of Gap Cycles crew.

On the top of Australias Highest Point, accessible by a 42km climb.

Phase Four:
First 24 hour MTB. I'd done a 24 HR AR once or twice, so what was the difference? I can tell you now, there is a difference and it is called intensity. Maybe we 'race' AR like sloths with lots of 'OMG we are lost" breaks but to me 24 hr MTBing seemed harder. Notched up some great achievements in this phase like XPD, a medal at the national 24hr solo champs and another go at the road ride from Canberra to Kosci and back. This time I smashed the boys. Cool.

Bike of the moment: Lemond Victoire roadie.

XPD on the Trek Fuel - Day 6.
Return to Kosci, and this time I smashed the boys for the Grimper Award.

Phase Five:
Now fully hooked on 24hr solos. First real sponsorship with Ride Inn bought me a new bike and new pressures. Cranked out a few local wins on the new bike, and got serious with a trip to Victoria to try and qualify for the worlds. In there somewhere I also had a crack at my first 100km down in victoria's wombat state forest BMC marathon. I still haven't mastered peeing on the bike, and was happy to come second at 1min.49secs down with dry bibs.

Ridley's first race for Riders - 1st solo for the 8 hour.

Got my slot and headed over to Canada with no idea of what I was in for. Survived to 10th in Elite at the worlds and can definitely say I gave it all I had. I discovered the joys of a great support crew. I also tried my first real Downhill at Whistler on a borrowed bike and rented full face. Awesome!

Bike of the moment: Ridley Blaze 2.0.
Whistler DH on a borrowed Kona Stab Garbanzo. aka a TANK.

Phase Six:
Stepping up. Working hard on getting more skills and losing less skin. Less road kms, more MTB kms. New sponsorship with Koiled introduced me to Shannon. A whole new set of race bikes that included the move to big wheels and some time sessioning trails under his guidance; I had the recipe for a jump in performance. I am now riding stuff I used to walk. And another thing. I am approaching that elusive dream - I am approaching 'fast'.

Cracked my first stage race in Timor, and got a hard won silver medal at the 24 hour worlds and 11th overall in the world. Broke my first frame simply from riding it (RIP Lemond!)

The Tallboy smoothing out Stromlo bumps

Bike of the moment: Santa Cruz TallBoy, Blacksheep custom HT.

Phase Seven:
Begins with one.